Bama Basketball Has To Move On

Shock, Disappointment. Anger. Alabama basketball players had a number of emotions Sunday, and none of them were good. The team had gathered in the C.M. Newton Recruiting Room in Coleman Coliseum to watch the NCAA Selection Show.

Unfortunately, the only time Alabama was mentioned was when various pundits took issue with the committee to choose the 37 teams needed to fill out the 68-team bracket for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. That committee did not see fit to include the Crimson Tide, even though Alabama had a 12-4 Southeastern Conference record and 21-11 overall mark; even though Bama had defeated SEC entrants Kentucky, Tennessee (in Knoxville), and Georgia (twice in the week leading up to the committee's decision.

"It was very quiet," Bama senior post player Chris Hines said. "Very quiet."

"I was nervous when they got to the Southeast part," junior forward JaMychal Green said. "When they didn't choose us I was shocked, disappointed, mad.

"Everyone was taking it hard."

Following the NCAA Selection Show, the NIT made Alabama a number one seed in that alternate 32-team tournament. The Crimson Tide will host Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m. CDT Tuesday in Coleman Coliseum. The winner of that game will play the winner of the New Mexico - Texas-El Paso first round game.

Alabama is 21-11 going into the NIT. Coastal Carolina is 28-5 and was regular season champion of the Big South Conference.

HInes said following the NIT announcement there was a team meeting to regroup. "It's very hard (to move on) when you thought you should be in the NCAA Tournament," he said. "But you have to move on.

"Whether you think it's fair, you have to move on. I want to enjoy the rest of my college career. For the juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, they have to play better next year.

"We have to enjoy each other as a group and try to go out and win. It's about having fun and continuing a 21-11 year."

Green said his goal is "to make it to Madison Square Garden." The semifinals and finals of the NIT are played in New York.

Green added, "We should play like we have something to prove to the (selection) committee, that we should have been in the NCAA Tournament."

Hines said, "I feel we have a lot to prove. That's not going to change anything now, but we can go out and win and do something for Alabama."

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